The science of running in super spikes: New data on Nike, Adidas, and PUMA track shoes

Lab scientist holding a prototype track and field super spike

Super spikes are track spikes for middle and long distance events that use the two key innovations in shoe tech that have revolutionized marathon shoes: “super foam” with high deformation and excellent energy return, and carbon fiber plates in the midsole.

I have a longer and more detailed article in the works that takes a deep dive into the biomechanics of super shoes more generally, but I wanted to get this post out since it’s track season and people want to run fast!

The impetus for this post was a fascinating new preprint on the benefits of super spikes from a multi-site collaboration involving research labs in Spain, the US, and Canada. The focus of the study is middle distance performance in super spikes versus traditional spikes.

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